tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 17, 2014 1:04pm-3:31pm EST
going to be a affordable memory to hold one song in a computer? we never thought that. that you could hold a picture or video or any of that stuff. you just start with what you are able to do today and luckily we were in a tough growing market of all time. [applause] >> thank you, everyone. good evening. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] theng up tonight on c-span,
election between literature and were -- media and religion. she attended the conference hosted by the university of colorado. we will have that the clock eastern tonight. then the clinton foundation will be hosting a discussion about the abuse of prescription drugs by young people. one of the speakers will be congressman patrick kennedy of rhode island who has spoken about his own struggles with addition -- with addiction. here some of what he will have to say tonight. >> we need to reorient our culture. to stopure needs keeping silent about this because the biggest enemy is the silence. beingthe pathology of not able to talk about the elephant in the room. mom suffered from severe and persistent mental illness. is pretty progressive,
liberal minded, and never breathed a word about it. then she disappeared to go to treatment. david writes about it in his books. the biggest challenges we need a conversation. i love the fact mtv is trying to break these barriers down, but it is the stigma that is our most insidious enemy here. this isn't just about prescription drug abuse. i could have been addicted to anything. genetically predisposed and had a -- had an environment and it was oxycontin for me for a while and i was hospitalized. then i came out and couldn't sleep and started abusing ambien. you could have given me anything and as an addict, i would have abused it. it's not the name of the drug, it is the underlying issue of the mental health.
forward, were goes do not have the nomenclature to talk about our emotional and psychic development and spiritual development that is crucial to us as human beings. we teach our kids and lead this important -- leave out this important piece that it is being able to be a social being and phone the stock on their or ipod. i love technology but part of the problem is we are more connected and yet more disconnected. >> former hunger spun patrick kennedy. he will be part of the panel show tonight at 7:15. tonight at 9:00, the conclusion of the c-span series, "first ladies." it will look at the entire series from martha washington to michelle obama with highlights from the series and your comments and questions. the siena research institute released a new poll on the impact and importance of each of
the first ladies. here is the institute's director on some of the results. >> for the fifth time since 1982, the siena research institute in loudonville new york has leased a survey on the first ladies. here is the result of the top 10 -- number one, eleanor roosevelt, number two, abigail adams. inqueline kennedy came third. dolly madison and forth. michelle obama's fifth place followed by hillary clinton. lady bird johnson, betty ford, martha washington and rosalynn carter. dawn levy is the director of the siena research institute. do you see in this top 10 list? >> what is most amazing about this survey is five times, 32 years, we interview historians, political scientists, scholars who study the presidency and the
institution of the first lady. the's most amazing is consistency over time. eleanor roosevelt first every and, first over 32 years she really stands out as the quintessential american first lady. if we were going to put a ager of the first lady in the dictionary, it would be eleanor roosevelt. >> why is that? 10 different categories. we look at the backgrounds of the first lady, their value to the country, how much value they have to their president. what if she is their own woman? again and again, we see eleanor roosevelt stand out. fdr's partnerly and counselor, but she reshaped the institution and told american women that they mattered and a were important in political and social life. notrly, eleanor roosevelt
only campaign for fdr but was instrumental in setting policy and the tone of the country during very difficult years. she's warmly remembered for her entire time as first lady and what she did subsequent to being first lady as well. she was a modern trendsetter for the office. >> the current first lady lady, michelle obama, is on that list will stop is that a surprise to have the current first lady on the list? >> it is a little bit surprising. it is the first time she was included. the last time the survey was taken was just before the obama's took office. she enters at a high level for a do first lady. it actually bumped down hillary clinton to the sixth division. i think michelle obama stands out on a number of categories -- her value to the country, her value to the president, being her own woman and her growing accomplishments in office.
interestingly, we also asked about which of the first ladies might these historians and political sciences -- political scientists asked about serving as president, and whereas hillary clinton is a choice, michellesupport for obama as a hypothetical president of the united states in some future time. michelle obama enters at a very high rate. 1993 when we took the survey in the early years of the clinton entered the survey at number two. it is not unprecedented. -- number one only one republican, betty ford is on the list. why is that? >> there are two ways to understand that. many of the first ladies stand out as having accomplished a great deal.
is this isat we find a survey of active thing historians, many of whom are nested within the academy. offer -- authors who publish books on the institution of first lady and as a group, that biasedends to be more towards the democrats and the republicans. the only republican on this list is betty ford. several recent republican first ladies made the list of those verse ladies who could have done more while they were in office. no first lady is a runaway choice, but laura bush, pat nixon, barbara bashar al-assad to and as first ladies who could have done more. eleanor roosevelt fans out will stop a couple of early first ofies, really before the era partisan politics took place.
bias we can a small perceive amongst these historians. >> one other thing is that these lifetime, within our beginning with jacqueline kennedy and lady bird johnson, rosalynn carter and betty ford fors there another bias contemporary first ladies? -- >> most of these are well known to historians but they have had a much more important role. it's worth the to see that some of the early first lady like abigail adams, dolly madison important roles. martha washington makes the list, so we are not without the , with the notable
exception of mary lincoln, they are little-known to many historians. for the notable exception of abigail adams and martha washington, it's the more modern first ladies who have been full that those a sense who follow the institute, full partners to their residence and are in the news everyday. not only speak to the country, but to the world about what and who america is. >> let's look at those bottom 5 -- margaret taylor, florence mary lincoln has been on this list in the past, hasn't she? >> absolutely. that is most notable when you talk about the bottom five. mary lincoln has an amongst the bottom five each and every time until this year.
the other influence we see in this survey is wn there is new historical work and or new work of popular culture that open up the book and tell the story of a first lady. that first lady's rating moves a little bit and mary lincoln portrayed by sally field in the recent film about lincoln and some of the literature on lincoln of late has told, has given a wider perspective on mary lincoln. she does not rise to the top. she remained near the bottom, but her stature increases with a little more understanding of the difficult situation she was placed in and no longer just thinking of mary lincoln as someone who was mentally unstable, as she had been portrayed for a long time. theother first ladies near bottom in many cases are associated with presidencies that were seen as unsuccessful and they added little to it. one notable first lady --
florence harding -- stands out here the bottom because it's more and more been seen that she played some role in some of the perhaps corrupt aspect of the harding at the list ration and the harding times. florence harding is nailed by these historians as lacking integrity and scores right at the bottom. the other first ladies that tend to be at the bottom in many cases are associated with little-known presidents and presidents of both johnson and peers who book ended the civil war, i time in our country where we were looking for great leadership and it wasn't until lincoln who is one of the most highly regarded presidents took over. but the first ladies before and after the civil war were seen as given very low -- giving very little value to the country and to presidents who were themselves unsuccessful. >> and the siena research institute did this in partnership with c-span and our "first ladies" series. one of the new categories on the
survey was the greatest political asset -- eleanor roosevelt, ellery clinton, jacqueline kennedy, michelle obama and nancy reagan. -- hillary clinton am a jacqueline kennedy. was lasting integrity. what is it about those five women? local asset is a category that really matters now. no longer is the first lady only looked upon as being a white house do or but rather as very as a political ally and asset to the president will stop eleanor roosevelt stands out. she campaigned on behalf of the --, she was sent out to negotiate. she really stands out. hillary clinton, quite obviously
was instrumental in many of the policy administration -- policies of the clinton administration and is seen as the most likely first lady to service resident. nancy reagan shows up on the list in a positive sense as a political asset. nancy reagan did as part of the reagan administration in some cases, really taking care of the president, negotiating with various constituencies, even with warring parties within the administration itself was seen as quite crucial during the reagan years. legacy, jackieg kennedy i think deserves mention. we just saw the 50th anniversary of the assassination of president kennedy and once again, the nation was reintroduced to the role jackie kennedy played, not only in her role of revitalizing the white house as an institution and institution -- and introducing the country to the white house
as an institution that the grace with which she conducted herself was a model for the country at the time of the assassination. that is truly a legacy that has stood out not only for the country but for the institution of the first lady and the importance of that position. she speaks in many ways to the country, soul of our in good times, demanding times and the focal times -- and difficult times. >> that's a quick look at some of the top results of the newest invey on first ladies collaboration with c-span's "first lady" series. we bring to a close at "first ladies" series 9:00 eastern time. we will be live with historian richard norton smith and a conversation on the first ladies at 8:00 eastern time here on c-span. take a quick look at capitol hill -- a little quieter than
usual today and throughout the week as congress is out for presidents' day recess. members are still tweeting, including south dakota senator --n thune, who says today on "washington journal" we talked about american president and their love-hate relationship with popular culture at the time. welcome back. we are joined to segment by tevi troy, author of the new book "what jefferson read, ike watched, and obama tweeted - see more at: http://series.c-span.org/journal /#sthash.077oaoda.dpu --author of the book "what
jefferson read, ike watched, and obama tweeted." i'm always interested in this question of what influences presidents. i started to look at the culture and found out that throughout our history, going back to the days of george washington and thomas jefferson, when all you had were the printed word and live entertainment, the culture was still influencing presidents. -- we have flourished ration we have proliferation of all kinds of different media. host: give me an example of some time when it maybe had a policy effect. guest: sure. let's go back to the founding fathers, who were heavily read in the works of the enlightenment and the classics and the ideas they read in the ocke helpedhn l
influence jefferson's writing of the declaration of independence. host: what cultural or pop cultural event had the biggest influence on president's policymaking? guest: well, that is a good question. again, i'm talking about popular culture, not pop culture. of most impactful work popular culture and history was "uncle tom's cabin," which was written at a time when abolitionists were depressed. they thought they lost the battle and slavery would continue indefinitely. cabin" change things and rejuvenated because of the abolitionists. the northern voice you read the book in the 1850's voted for lincoln in the 1860's and die for him in the civil war. lincoln brought harriet beecher stowe, the author of "uncle
tom's cabin" into the white house, said she was this little lady who started the big war. host: we would love to have you join our conversation. host: i want to ask you about the obama presidency and popular culture. walk us through what you are seeing. you mentioned that the president's affinities for certain television shows. we were talking off-line. guest: the president is a huge fan of television. he was a huge fan of television when he was a kid. when he was in hawaii, he would come home and he says in his memoir that he would watch cartoons, sitcom reruns, and primetime television until the time for bed, and at that point he would listen to top 40 music on the radio. a lot of pop culture being ingested when he was growing up.
today, as an adult, he did not become a couch potato. readcame president, he a lot and did a lot of things in between, but he still likes tv and there is an article in "the new york times" today, i was in the green room and i saw he was talking to the chief executive of hbo and he asked the chief executive of hbo for advance companies of the show "true detective" and "house of thrones" so he could watch those over the holiday weekend. host: i think people of all generations are jumping on the bandwagon and watching. what impact does that have on the president's perception, and the amount that uses social media? guest: i argue in the book that hasn't obama -- that president obama was very skilled in his use of pop culture in the 2008 and 2012 campaign. show that he is cool and hip and with it and in the 2012 campaign especially come he would go on soft media
shows. he would go on the leno show where the letterman show, oand he went on 6 times. he would not be talking about heavy policy, he would be talking about pop-culture. he did slow jam the news on the jimmy fallon show to reach out to younger voters. it was a good way to connect with the american people and bring in the coalition he needed to win the election. host: could you talk about the way that the president uses twitter and social media? guest: president obama's twitter feed -- president bush probably never heard of twitter when he was president. president obama has 40 million followers. listen more followers to -- and then listened or followed his state of union address.
twitter can reach a lot of people. president obama does not do from his account. a lot of them come from organizing for america. but when there is a tweet that comes directly from president obama, it has the letters b.o. at the end, so you know that it is a direct president obama tweet, and those that not only a lot of retweets but media attention as well. host: randy is on the line for democrats. caller: good morning. i am a teacher and i taught my students about harry s truman. no tweets, butas when harry s truman decided to carry out the berlin airlift, he basically made it known to the communists in east berlin that america was behind the rest of east germany. he was definitely my favorite president, as well as desegregating the u.s. military,
the national school lunch program. so, yeah. guest: i would just say to the presidents, well before president obama was using tweets, were using the media of the time. the president before harry truman was franklin roosevelt, and he was a skill that the use of radio, and he mastered radio to the extent that obama has mastered twitter today. and not only made him president, but we know about this name is fireside chats -- the famous fireside chats. he was very careful and judicious and only did the 2 or 3 times a year. he wore a special to the to prevent -- a special tooth to prevent a whistle, and he used a special paper that didn't russell when he was speaking on these fireside chats so that people would think he was talking off-the-cuff the cuff instead of reading a prepared script. host: jeanette on the line for
independents. caller: hello? host: hey, jeanette, you are on "washington journal." caller: thanks. i'm curious what the gentleman thinks about the huge thing going on between comcast and time warner in the city -- in d.c., and they will control 50% of all the media -- internet, broadband, television, probably radio, too -- i don't know if they are in that are not. thinkch president do you would have objected to this incident just going "oh, heck yeah." guest: [laughs] interesting question. there is a heavily regulatory element to this and it is not reaganic of the day, but
got rid of the rules for financial interest in syndication that are vented tv stations from honing their content, and that had a heavy shift in how tv was on and operated and distributed. there are constant changes and flex and what the new media are -- flux in what the new media art. you were talking about the cable merger, but that article in "the new york times" today talks about the rivalry between hbo and netflix. netflix was a completely new platform. it did not exist when george bush was president, the idea that this streaming content was a new way to exist. and president obama mentioned the lead character from "house of cards," frank -- host: underwood. guest: it just boggles my mind that he was mentioning a character that was on a medium that did not exist 5 years ago.
the platforms are changing so fast that i am not worried about anyone grabbing a jewel of everything because there's something new to emerge. "house of cards" spoilers for those who have not seen it yet. a couple of tweets. these ok, i think both of tweets, which i appreciate, are getting at this question of when you are president, are you supposed to be this heavy, laden with gravitas person who thinks heavy and big thoughts all the time, or are you someone who can connect with the people? this is a tension that recurs through american history. i talk about the election between john quincy adams, who could translate greek and latin
very easily and was well read in the class works, and andrew jackson, who is not a very good speller, not much of a reader, but very good at -- capturing the popular imagination. these guys had 2 titanic elections in the 1820's. every president needs some john quincy adams to govern effectively, and needs some andrew jackson to get elected. chase --all from chevy next call comes from churches, maryland. mary on our line for independents. caller: my favorite president is fdr. i love what you are talking about right now. it is unique idea. i love the way that he created programs but i don't see this resident as creating -- this president as creating grid he is slick and very good at texting and good at words but it is what behind it. i have the idea that if
president roosevelt was here today, he would have programs like he had for the youth where he gave them food and places to live. i would love to see the youth of this time go and for 6 years work for land, like they did -- they use -- the youth built, wey toiled the soil and if took 6 years out of high school and had our youth to do that same thing, turn their phones off, and work for land for this country and bring back our topsoil so that we can have decent food and nutrients, and then give them free college and get rid of the college loan fiasco, that is what fdr would be doing today. he would be creating programs because we are in an economic downturn. guest: couple points on that. first of all, i like that you -- i'm glad that you like
appointment fdr. -- like the points on fdr could if you like that, you will love the book. he was very good at maintaining this idea of being an elevated leader but at the same time reaching out and touching the common people. was talking about his speeches on the radio, his fireside chats. he was very careful when he went through those speeches to take out all the five dollar and $10 words so that he would not be speaking about the people, but to the people. at one point the queen of england came to washington and he made sure that the meals they had in the white house was hot dogs to show the common touch that even the queen of england he would serve that to. in terms of the volunteerism you are talking about, i would love to see more volunteerism taking place in the u.s. when i worked in the bush administration there was an initiative to remote more voluntary active effort to promote a voluntary activity and i think would be a great thing. right now it does not look like a lot of new programs are coming out of commerce and i don't not
-- i'm not sure it needs to be a government program. host: michael is on the line for caller: i went to my favorite president is kennedy. one difference between this president and the president -- this is the federal system. they are the same. they need to make it better. for the american people. this system should change. -- thank you. guest: president kennedy was quite really and that using pop culture. father, joseph kennedy, was a studio executive in hollywood. jfkarly as 1952, he told about how important tv was and how he needed to appear in tv.
in the 1960 debate between nixon and kennedy, nixon was confident going in. people who listened over the radio that he did well. those who watched on this new medium of television thought that kennedy was the winner. he was handsome and slick. he mopped the floor with nixon from that perspective. kennedy was in his own way groundbreaking. host: let's talk about netflix. you are involved with the romney campaign. is this newn documentary -- have you had a chance to watch? do you think he would have fared better if he had what we saw in that documentary more than what we saw in the election? guest: i have not seen the documentary yet, though i do plan to. the way that he was depicted was kind of aloof and wealthy. he did not have that common touch.
a little bit would to go to romney himself. his use of pop culture or the importance of pop culture. when he made pop-culture references, he made references to "seinfeld" and "ferris bueller's day off." both very funny, but he was not as up-to-date as obama was. host: next, gordon on the line for republicans. caller: hi. i think ronald reagan was the best president we ever had. i think that barack obama is the worst president. he hasple reason is that given everything away to the poor. he is taking from the working class and the well-to-do. to breakacare is going this country. thank you. guest: not really a pop-culture question, but let me talk about ronald reagan and his use of pop culture. reagan was an actor, obviously. for that reason, quite skilled
in the use of pop culture. ande is one story where he nancy were arguing about filming a spot. nancy was telling him what to do. he said no nancy, i have done this before. he knew what he was doing. his people said he always hit his mark. when it came to movies, he was not that excited or interested. he told the white house projectionist that the golden oldies were the one for him. he liked those from the 30's, 40's, and 50's. he likes the other stuff. host: next call is from anchorage, alaska. frank is on the line for independence. i would like to say that george washington is the best president. he was the president of only two terms. he resisted the urge to take more power. he probably could have had himself installed as king. he did not.
most presidents, including our current one, could not have resisted that urge. thank you. host: -- guest: that is a really good point. george washington understood the concept of leadership. i have a book of the theatricality of leadership. he understood that it was important to appear almost regal on the white horse, resplendent in his military uniform. he had this bearing that just showed that he was a powerful leader. he also knew that he did not want to be king. he did not think our system should have a king. he set a precedent that every president has followed. he also knew how to reach out to the commoners and the people when need be. there was a rebellion or a mutiny within the troops at the time in 1783. washington got up to address them. on and askedasses
for forgiveness because he had done a disservice to his country. he reached out to the troops and show that he had made sacrifices and diffused the muni. let me ask you this. using popular culture to their ventures, which president is the best and which ?s the worst guest: i really have a lot of admiration for bill clinton. he was able to manage both sides in terms of appealing to the common man. he also was wonky and read a lot of serious books that were nonfiction. he was smart about how he highlighted the books that he was reading. he also like to read mysteries. he was not highlighting that. he highlighted the nonfiction books. i thought he did a good job. reagan was very good. kennedy was quite skillful. i think that those were pretty good.
i think kennedy had a little bit of mistakes. in an international cellist. the intellectuals came to watch this dinner and kennedy did not know much about classical music. fromd handwritten notes the social secretary telling him when it was appropriate to clap. avertheless, he got presentation of someone who understood the arts. he really did not. worst, richard nixon certainly had problems. in" to on "laugh humanize himself. his catchphrase was talking to me. he could not even get the phrase right. beach. a suit on the he did not look very beach-y. jimmy carter also had issues.
saw 480 movies in one term in the white house. that is 120 a year. he watched a lot of movies. there was a sense that he watched a lot while the country was having severe difficulties. -- thet famous speech malaise speech. it came from a book that had been on the bestseller list. the speech came from a book. it did not translate well. frederick,in maryland is on the line for democrats. caller: good morning mr. troy. i am excited to buy this book. i am picking it up. i appreciate it. i appreciate you covering our presidents on presidents' day. i would like to learn more if you have upcoming talks or you will do anything -- guest: i will actually be in leesburg tomorrow night. i will be talking about the book tomorrow at 6:00. come out and see me. host: in portsmouth, rhode
island, jerry is on the line for democrats. caller: good morning. a comment ono make pop culture and the president clinton. he played his saxophone. he connected with the public. i also like president obama. when he cuts a rug, he is a good dancer. i think i might be a little better. he did a good job. that is my comment. guest: clinton and the saxophone is iconic. what he did was go on the arsenio hall show. obama is the first president to go on a late night comedy talk show as president. nixon did his perfect or months before he was president. , putsn goes on the show on sunglasses and plays the saxophone. then he sat down and talked. that was even more groundbreaking. some would say more surprising. people forget that aspect of it.
in terms of obama dancing, i have a whole chapter about music and how rock music and popular music was seen as subversive for a long time. you would not have resident embrace it. you think about the famous moment in the 1950's, on the ed sullivan show. you could not show gyrating hips. you have to show him from the chest. there is something worrisome about popular music, especially rock is it. clinton helped to bring it into the mainstream. embraced fleetwood mac, that was a crucial moment for rock music and the presidency. you mentioned president obama dancing. there was a moment when president and mrs. ford danced. there was a lot of talking in the press about that. now it seems like we are be on that. to alexandria,
virginia. michael is on the line for democrats. caller: thank you for giving me the opportunity. the influence of tv is showing in our streets every day. the role model is established by tv. you scan and dial shows -- shooting, shooting, shooting. it is incredible that we do not connect this with the actual murders of innocent people. also, ronald reagan was the one who promoted the export of jobs payment to $160,000 any company that wanted to go to a symposium on how to export jobs. when they did export jobs, they got $250,000. it disputes with the previous caller said about reagan. thank you. guest: let's talk about the issue of tv violence.
it is a really good question. culture iss that pop not all positive. there are aspects that are worrisome. presidents have to be wary. in the 1992 campaign, there was a song that was an early rap song. george h.w. bush was very critical of that song. he was critical of that approach and his campaign. the attack line from the republicans is one of the reasons that bill clinton engaged in what was known as the sister soul moment. ulja andd out sister so she talked about having a week where we kill white people. this should be president called her out in front of jesse jackson. jesse jackson was annoyed that clinton had done them. that moment has become a famous moment. a moment where you take on elements of your party and show
you can be independent. that was developed as a result of this issue and pop culture. the president embraces tv shows, they have to be aware of the message they're sending. president obama loves "mcgwire." he said his favorite character was omar. he is a fascinating character. he is also a multiple murderer. he is a violent character. he has said i do not embrace everything he has done. you have to be wary when you're talking about pop culture that there are certain shows with problematic messages. you could be called on the carpet for embracing shows. host: your book goes into detail about relationships with popular culture. give us one of your favorite lesser-known antidotes? ulysses s. grant was asked about music. he said i only know two songs. one is yankee doodle and the other is not.
he apparently was not a huge fan of music. another is about woodrow wilson. , one otheresident person ran with a phd -- he is the only phd president. a huge fan of theater. about 250 performances while he was president. bonneville was his favorite genre. not excepted from a phd president. host: our guest is ted troy. number is 202-585-388 1. 585-3880., 202- he said he worked in the white house under the bush administration. talk to me about how president bush has used popular culture. guest: they were very different. george h w and was not a people person.
he did not seem to be a huge fan of tv. he watched some movies and there was a book about how he wanted a new movie to come to the white house. he was not a huge reader. to kennebunkport on vacation and while he was there, he said that he plans to do a lot of golf and tennis and boating. a lot of horseshoes. a little bit of reading. i throw that out for the intellectuals out there. not a huge reader. in contrast, george w. bush is a huge reader. when year, he read over 90 books. because he kept track and had a contest with karl rove to see who could read more. nevertheless, he suffered from an image of someone who was not a reader. one reporter said that he is a
graduate of harvard and yale and never open any books. it is not true. journalistic malpractice if you ask me. he was a big reader and not a big fan of tv. he said there is an off button for a reason. he did watch some sports. you would not have him be able to talk easily about network tv shows. his colts roll mode of choice was reading. host: andy in maryland is on the line for independents. caller: i would like to mention, i did not get in on favorite presidents. the pastte from islington. now it is obama. one of the things people do not see is that our new president has not only been able to connect with people, but he has also made it easier for kids to at the samenerds time.
our culture has dumbed down our kids with songs. here comes a president who dresses well and speaks well and can still connect with kids. be kids know, if you want to smart, you can also be cool. thank you. guest: that is an important message. i think president obama may watch a little too much tv for that. should not that kids watch dumb reality shows. i think that is a good message. i mentioned the point about president bush saying to turn it off. they should highlight the importance of reading. host: casper, wyoming is on the line for republicans. caller: good morning. troy, i would just like to ask a question. do you think it is easier for a president with today's media or
is it making his job more difficult? guest: great question. it is a two-sided answer. it is easier to get your message out there. no doubt about it. president obama has 40 million twitter followers. there are so many ways to convey his ideas. people can find him. at the same time, if there is problem or something goes wrong, or if there is a scandal -- we can talk about monica lewinsky, you cannot get away from it. it is pervasive. during that scandal, president clinton and mrs. clinton and terry mcauliffe, who is now the governor of virginia, wanted to get away. he went on medication together. they were trying to watch tv. hillary was clicking through the channels. every channel had something about the scandal. she was getting more frustrated. she ended up going to espn.
they were not talking about the scandal. host: our next call is entrée. he is in new jersey. on the line for democrats. caller: yes. host: go ahead. i particularly like president clinton and president barack obama. the way they used pop-culture. they related to people. they did not speak about people's heads. used -- they came across as genuine. that youtellectuals cannot reach. like the way they really did to the common folk. the common people. raises an caller
interesting point about bill clinton and obama as authentic and nonintellectual. ,linton went to foreign service obama went to columbia and then went to harvard law school. reagan hast since gone -- every president has gone to harvard or yale or both. one went to both, surprisingly george w. bush. every president has a graduate degree. we have an increasing a meritocracy in terms of our president. at the same time, you have to be able to relate to the people. i thought clinton was particularly skillful at that. he found ways to show that he related to people. his origins certainly helped. at the same time, we should not forget that he was a smart guy. host: you mentioned sports. can you talk about the relationship between residents
and sports and have a use them to their advantage? guest: sports as one of the few common connectors that we have. the super bowl is a couple of weeks ago. it was watched by more americans than any show in history. 110 million americans. i mentioned that president obama's state of the union was watched by 30 million. on o'reilly and probably got more viewers. viewersted and got more than he gets ordinarily. sports is a common connector. you have presidents bringing sports teams to the white house to highlight their championships. as a way to connect to anmunities and show understanding of what is going on in the culture. i do not talk that much about sports because there is not much intellectual content in sports.
it is not scripted entertainment. i am talking about what messages entertainers are creating, whether on tv or in books or movies. i think the message aspect that sports does not add to these things. i think it is important. i talk about babe ruth, because he was one of the biggest stars. one of the biggest stars in america. he was aned that national correspondent with every president from woodrow wilson, to harry truman. he also famously took a picture with george h w when he was captain of the elbe baseball team. movies and did state stuff and had a newspaper column. troy, theguest is ted author of "what jefferson read..." the numbers to call and are on
your screen. i want to ask you a little bit about, you talked about rating. are there any things that the president have read the shock to you? guest: i was surprised by how much presidents have read. teddy roosevelt, he was a huge reader. sometimes read 2-3 books per night. if you came to visit him, he would open a book and reading. at one point, he disappeared on a train. outside of the bathroom, trying to hold a book to the light. he wanted to catch those last rays of light. that was a good thing. that is what he did. i thought that was interesting. i was surprised that george h.w.
bush was not a bigger reader. i was priced that ronald reagan was more of a reader than people thought. secretary came to him one time and saw that he was reading a serious book and said can we put this out there? no, i do not think we need to do that. host: all right. our next call comes from bethlehem, pennsylvania. on the line for democrats. caller: i would like to mention howthey are talking about presidents alter the history. organizations like fox news are always showing ronald reagan saying tear down the wall. that statement was made one year after the election. wall came down in 1990, when mr. bush was president. look it up. today -- that did
not happen. this is what happens all the time. altering the fact. they give very much. guest: i do not think that is an alteration of fact. he did say tear down this wall. under his successor, the wall did come down. they do not think there is any implication that that should make -- that said, iconic images are very important. berline the images in where john f. kennedy said -- some thought it may have meant a jelly donut. people knew what he meant. i was i stand with berlin. people who are skillful with this, they make images that appear powerful and strong. reagan and kennedy were good at that. host: let's get a question from twitter.
do you think that a president shapes pop-culture or does pop-culture shaper president? guest: great question. there is a line that says when you are president, you are tv. you show up on the green. like the story about clinton. everything they see on the screen is a result of what president clinton was going through. images inee certain shows like the west wing. producers consciously say that they are trying to combine kennedy and clinton and take away the foibles and shenanigans. they make what they saw as the perfect democratic leader. that was a case where the president shapes culture. also, we see that many presidents are influenced by the culture. president obama, i talked about how much tv he watched. bill clinton talks about how he
got his first tv in 1956. one of the first things he watched was the democratic convention. he saw stevenson, modestly , theting the second term second straight nomination as president. he lost both times. he seems reluctant. clinton writes in his memoirs that he understands how someone could be reluctant to take on the nomination to be president. here is a guy who is shaped early by watching a politician on tv. host: technology and pop culture have also affected. how do you think the role will be different? guest: it is a good question. you say that pop-culture revolves quickly. think about the first hundred years. there was not much change. by the time roosevelt was
president, there were only two options. you start to see the beginnings of radio, they were not first broadcasting film. it developed slowly until it developed quickly. now what is happening so fast that i recently saw an article about rand paul getting on snap chat. people never anticipated that facebook would be big in 2008 or that twitter would be big in 2012. people do not know what the technology will be in 2016. i do not know if snap chat will be the new technology. what we do know is that presidents and candidates deal with various media and the shape how they are perceived. hopefully snap chat is not the new technology. talk us briefly through how you came about this book. it is really in doubt with a lot of great information. said, i told the
story in my training -- i have a whole collection of presidential biographies in my home. that is where i started. looking at the biographies and trying to get an idea of their interest. i quickly realized that the way to do this was to break it down by media. i started with the founders. there is a lot of material. theater, which was the medium of the 19th century. presidents would go from area to area and it would appear to be on good will. see and be seen. there was a lot of good material out there. there is archival stuff it i have stuff from presidential biographies and libraries. so, i just found a ton of research and put it together. it took over a year. it was a rewarding process. host: we have enjoyed this segment with ted troy. thank you for being with us tonight.
gu >> later today, former congressman patrick kennedy and how society can help with addiction. discussion begins at 7:15 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> what i want to see is that the internet remain free, accessible, open, no blocking, no discrimination. that is my overall goal. that is what has made it what it is. now one of the great imprimatur is of the united states of america. we invented this. this is our genius. this is our ingenuity.
that is why i wanted to continue and prosper the way it is. this is not, i don't believe, a democratic position. to see its don't seem my way. i think this is all about the consumer. and their experience and what should be retained. so regardless of who you are, where you live in the country, what your color is, what you do, what your economic background is, it is all neutral when it comes to the internet. >> net neutrality and other telecom issues racing congress tonight on the communicators at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span2. >> tonight, we conclude our ladies" with a two-hour program, martha washington to michelle obama. her managerial
skills and makes number and a successful operation and makes it possible for washington to be a way for eight years fighting a war. >> there was something about abraham lincoln that she saw the potential and encouraged it and helped develop it. lessons in etiquette and the dining room that helped polish them up for washington society, the political parties that they of where they invited a lot very important people. the strawberries and cream parties, talking to the wives of those very important gentlemen, she wielded a lot of power, both over mr. lincoln and where he was going. the political career -- her involvement in the political career of franklin roosevelt is right from the beginning. but she becomes much more active in her role after 1921, when franklin roosevelt contracted polio. she would encourage franklin d. roosevelt to continue with his political ambitions. >> from martha washington to michelle obama, tonight at 9:00
p.m. eastern on c-span, c-span radio, and at www.c-span.org. the conversation with historian richard norton smith about the first ladies and their contribution live at 8:00. >> on the next "washington journal" kevin coleman of independent business looks at how -- how the health care laws impacting small businesses around the country. and then same-sex marriage and the goals of getting it legalized in more states. after that, edward felten of princeton university talks about the virtual currently known as bitcoin, which is exchange solely online and recently experienced problem's from cyber attacks. plus, your phone calls, face the comments, and tweak, all on "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. on c-span. a discussion about class-action lawsuits and white critics argue
that they benefit no one but attorneys. we will begin with the next the nation of what class-action lawsuits are with james copeland of the manhunt and institute. -- manhattan institute. that is the organization that hosted this event. it is an hour and a half. >> our topic tonight is class-action abuse. discussionrame this for those of us in the audience who are not attorneys, particularly those who are in the viewing, the television audience out there. what we talk about class-action lawsuits, what we are really talking about are aggregated lawsuits where you take a bunch of claims, usually relatively small claims, but certainly numerous claims, that are similar in character and you put them all together into a single lawsuit. this has existed for some time now under u.s. law and it is
largely deemed a matter of judicial efficiency. it is cheaper to try a bunch of similar cases in one large piece a litigation than to try bunch of individual separate cases if the cases are truly a like. genesis of the modern class-action bar, so to speak, and the modern class-action practice came about in the 1960's with a 1966 revision of the federal rules of civil procedure that developed what is called the opt out class-action. joine this point time, to a class-action lawsuit, you had to affirmatively opt in to the legal action. after this point in time, you have to opt out of the legal action, and if you did not do so, you will presumptively a member of the plaintiff class and were part of the litigation. since this time, there have been a number of critics of class-action litigation and the
abuses inherent in this. one of the foremost is here today with ted frank, one of the leading reformers in this area as well as professor brickman, who has published extensively on this topic. this criticism has led to various reform efforts, both legislative and through the judiciary. for instance, in congress, for securities class-action litigation, a subset of the litigation involving so-called effects on the market that cause stock prices to be overinflated and then subsequently it falls when exposed, that kind of litigation went through significant reform and then mid-1990's. litigationurities format was intended to clean up some of that kind of litigation. in some respects, it did. in other respects, there were unintended consequences of that litigation. a more comprehensive class-action reform at the
federal level was passed in the middle of the last decade in 2005. it was the class action fairness act. it was a jurisdictional shift and was a reaction to research done i folks like professor brickman and the manhattan institute for legal policy showing what happen when you -- we havecourts separate state and federal courts in the united states and the state courts were getting class-action than making determinations that affected the national flow of commerce. and some of these state courts were becoming so-called magnet courts that were attracting a disproportionate -- and in some cases, a very large percentage of the national class-action bar. those judges and juries tend to -- tended to be very favorable toward the plaintiffs. the class-action change in 2005 was designed in part to get federal jurisdiction over these cases, so they would be heard in andderal court
procedurally would have a new basis of rules for determining litigation. reform wasrt of that designed to eliminate so-called coupon settlements where individuals got coupons in lieu of cash. and the lawyers fees were inflated. the typesry akin to of settlements that mr. frank regularly challenges and we will be topping about in a minute. the supreme court has also been very active in recent years in this area. in main lines of decision particular had generated a lot of press. one is relating to the certification standards of the class, in other words how you a class-action determination. how do you determine that there numerous and similarly situated think it's? -- plaintiffs?
in have the supreme court two different cases trying to tighten the certification requirements to be able to get , to a class-action lawsuit actually get in one and survive scrutiny. and also, the way the ability of the class-action remedies vis-à-vis the contractual inuses, arbitration clauses particular, how much do you need to have a class-action remedy? and in a couple of other cases, one of which ted has written about significantly -- at&t mobility and the american express cases. says that you can have a class-action remedy, but you can also waive it for a fair arbitration clause that gives you an alternative means of redress as an individual consumer. this is the backdrop that we face today, a lot of controversy around a class-action practice. before we get to our panel, we will have our presentation by , the founderenter
of the center for class-action fairness, of which he serves as the president, treasurer, and general counsel. fellowlso an adjunct with the manhattan institute for legal policy and a longtime blogger in our web magazine. institute and the institute for class-action fairness are institutionally separate. but ted is here to talk about a certain variant of class-action abuse, really, any class-action abuse, but in particular what the center focuses on, which is class-action settlements that are thought to be unfair to the .laintiff ted can explain more what we mean by that. he has been called by other publications a leading tour reform advocate by the wall street journal and the new york times has called him the leading critic of class-action abuse
settlements. he comes at this with significant experience, doing the work that i do as the president of the american enterprise institute. as well as a decade of aperience in the law, as litigator with class-action experience on that end. was a high honors graduate of the university of chicago law school. executivember of the committee of the federalist society litigation practice group. [applause] >> thanks to jim for that kind introduction and to the manhattan institute for putting this together, and to all of you for coming out on such a desolate evening. stages already set the for what a class-action is and
the nature of the problem. sure -- what i'm not sure he completely communicated is the immense settlement pressure that is created on defendants. just the very fact that a class-action is out there means whata defendant facing commonly seeks over $1 billion in damages and when you have a $1 billion case and even if you think you have a 99% chance of prevailing, you have a substantial incentive to pay a substantial amount of money to get rid of the case. present a unique do not see in normal litigation. to help you breakdown the contraction will -- contractual model, because unlike typical litigation, a class-action will have involuntary members. because in the united states system of class-action, it is opt out litigation rather than opt in litigation.
everyone in this room is probably a member of a pending class-action somewhere, voluntarily or not. and the attorney representing the for the good of supposedly, or perhaps not, is at the end of the day seeking a paycheck in this settlement where they are both negotiating the relief for their punitive clients that they have roped into this large mega class for themselves. and while they may negotiate the release separately, they know every dollar that the defense is paying for the class members is a dollar they will not get for themselves, or they will negotiate a large common fund and come in and seek a percentage of that fund and not necessarily seek an amount that is -- that a paying client would pay.
class-action settlement problem, because you have on one side come of the defendants and the goal to minimize the cost. they want to get out of this class-action, whether it is a one percent or 20% or 90% chance of losing. you have the plaintiffs attorney, but they have their own personal conflict of interest in that they are trying to maximize the fees. there is no when making sure that the class-action attorney -- and we have already seen this conflict of interest that we are talking about. no one is out there looking for the class. -- ahetically, a judges judge is supposed to approve a settlement before it goes forward. you have unrepresented and absent last members. you have to give them notice and a hearing before you waive their rights to the underlying cause of action. at that hearing, they can object to the settlement if it is unfair or if there is the allocation problem i'm talking about where the attorneys have negotiated release for themselves, but not for their clients.
but the whole reason we have a class-action is because supposedly it is hypothetically not economic to negotiate the original claim if it is for some $10 fee for the -- that the company charged to or what have you. the class-action has said we need to aggregate these cases together so we can have one giant class-action, because it would be impossible to pursue this as an individual case. but just as it is impossible to pursue as an individual case, it is even more impossible to come in, litigate, and object. you do not have time. you have a $10 claim. you're not going to pay $10,000 for an attorney to come in and file an objection for you. worth, it is probably not your time to read the class-action notice and file with the court yourself. as a result, you have these one-sided presentations. you have the plaintiff and the defendant's working together, who want to see the summit go forward, but no one is looking out for the class member themselves.
do thates supposed to and some are better about this than others. but the judges incentive is, i have these parties and -- parties in front of me and it is a complex case. do i want to go forward and take something that is taking up a lot of time on the docket out of my hands? to put a lot of work into thinking about whether or not this is a reasonable settlement? part of the problem is that judges are only thinking, well, is this fair as a whole? this aknow, is reasonably valued settlement for the nature of the claims the plaintiffs are bringing, and not thinking about the conflict of the allocationm, problem between the class-action attorneys and the class members. and that is where the center for class-action fairness came in. this is something i founded in 2009.
for the purpose of standing up absentereas normally in -- and absent class member would not have the opportunity to come in and point out a problem in a settlement, we realize that we externalitiesular by going and getting outside funding and doing pro bono work that is actually pro bono, for the public good. representing class members in the settlement and to get of all of these attorneys why i'mthe money and getting nothing. we have knocked out millions of dollars in unfair fees. we have won some landmark appeals that have utterly change the landscape of class-action settlements and change the way judges are looking at these things. and we have done that spending less than $1.5 million in our
first four years. we are up to four attorneys now. and we are looking to expand. our argumentt -- is not that there are not objectionable class action settlement, but there are more of these than we have time to go forward with. what is it that attorneys do to create the class-action settlement? let's step back for a second. why is it that these settlements are a problem. issuea larger societal not just in terms of the individual class members, but a larger social problem. and i would like to point out -- i would like to start with a case that was our first had to dovictory and with bluetooth product liability litigation. these headsets did not warn you that if you were a bluetooth headset and then listened to someone talk on it at maximum
volume 49 hours you could have hearing problems -- for up to nine hours, you could have hearing problems later. obviously, this is not a suit that is going to go very far in front of a jury or even a reasonable judge. but for three defendants in this case faced with the expense of litigating this class-action and trying to get rid of it, paying lawyers, possibly having to go through document discovery, all of that risk. the plaintiffs come to them and say, we are willing to settle this for $1 million, the defendants will say, ok. that is great. we get to close this off of our books. we do not have to spend this money on more lawyers. here's your money and go away. this $1 million is split to the attorneys and
the class members, the class members probably would not get much at the end of the day. the attorneys might be willing to bring this sort of frivolous lawsuit when they can structure the settlement so that they get all of the million dollars to themselves and not actually have to give anything to the class members. but if have to reasonably share it with their punitive clients, suddenly changes the economics of it. and we are ok with that, forcing the attorneys to reasonably share with their clients. they have a fiduciary duty to their clients. they are supposed to be doing this in the first place. the clients are supposed to come first. and we have this fairness requirement. and our position has always been just as a legal matter, fairness includes the allocation between the attorneys and the class. because again, they attorneys have the fiduciary duty and they can take a reasonable percentage
share of that $1 million, but 100% is not reasonable. there was about $1 million going there was $100,000 going to a token charity, an $850,000 going to the attorney and the class got a big zero. we found several class members who were unhappy with that. we brought the objection, but the judge said, the parties agreed to this. the settlement is a good thing. we took it to the ninth circuit and after a year and a half of waiting for the ninth circuit to rule, we got the result that says, no, you have to look out for these things. you have to consider whether or not the attorneys are disproportionately favoring themselves in the settlement. much the opened not so floodgates, but it is starting to turn the tide. before we got involved, you had these one-sided presentations
and judges would think, my job is to promote settlements. and would not necessarily look at this allocation problem. again, it is important, because if the latter settlement can go forward, you will see more of these meritless class actions, and that is bad for everybody. it is bad for the defendants facing these class-action settlements and paying more to make them go away. it is bad for consumers because costs go up. it is also bad because if you are a plaintiff's attorney, do i want to bring this complex class-action actually has merit, or do i want to bring lots and lots of small class actions where i can make a quick and big paycheck? the answer is, you are not even going after the bad guy. you are looking for deep pocket after deep pocket after deep pocket, whether or not there is any merit to the class-action. and you could actually do some good, like actually going after
real fraud instead of going after the easy payday. and fraud is undeterred because the attorneys would be going after the wrong defendants. and it means the corporations themselves have no incentive to be good versus bad, because you are going to get sued either way. objections like the ones we are bringing, you know, even though it meant that in the bluetooth case, motorola has to spend more money on lawyers going up and down from the ninth circuit trying to get the settlement approved, and we get the defense counsel very upset at us. apple's attorneys have been really mad. but the settlements are good for society, for consumers in the long run, and even for defendants in the long run as well as consumers, even if it might raise the cost of the individual case. how do you make a bad settlement? the answer is, you create the illusion of relief without actually giving really. defendant wants to minimize how
much they are paying out and the attorneys want to maximize the amount that they are bringing in for themselves. you can only do that if the class is not actually get anything. or if you sort of minimize what the class is getting. there are lots of little tricks you can use to do that, coupons and conjunctive relief. up thingsy is to make on your fee application. we had a case involving citigroup, which was a big victory for us and i will talk about that later. let's explore why you need this illusory relief. let's say, you have a class-action and you are suing for $1 billion. the defendant realizes they have a 90% chance for failing, so it is worth $20 million to get rid
of the case. at the plainest attorneys want a $15 million payday. how can you do that? forcannot say $15 million us and $5 million for the class. even the laziest judge in the world will look at that and say, there is something wrong here. 25% benchmark normally, and hear the attorneys are getting 75%. what do you do to get around that? the classic way to do it until recently was with a coupon settlement. , here is and you say 150 million dollars in coupons for the class. we are only asking for $15 million for attorneys fees. and the judge says, you are being so generous. $150 million in coupons and $15 million for the attorneys. that looks completely fair. but in reality, as little as a decade ago, only one percent to three percent of these coupons would get redeemed.
you have created the illusion of relief without actually forcing the defendant to pay anything. as a result, the attorneys actually get the bulk of the value of the settlement. and this one percent to three percent, -- and i have seen settlements where it is much smaller than that, as in, 75 coupons out of one million getting redeemed. as part of the class action fairness act, and the main part of it was to change the to beictional rules resolved in federal court rather than state court, it created a new rule that said, if you have a coupon settlement, the judges are not oh loud -- not allowed unlessd attorneys fees you look at the redemption rate. you say, ok, i'm rewarding you based on the $1 million in coupons actually got cashed in,
rather than on the $150 million in value you are creating. who is going to enforce that? an earlier model of the class-action fairness hearing, there are the plaintiffs attorneys and the defendant's attorneys. they are preventing their argument to the judge. and there is nobody there saying, wait a second, there is this law that says you have to go out and look at the redemption value. nobody points that out. no one is forcing the parties to say, under section 1712, you have to do this. the case are still getting rubberstamped. for the first 15 years after the class-action acts, courts were not enforcing this. part of that was when there was a coupon settlement, the parties this is a coupon settlement.
it was rebates, gift cards, vouchers. these coupone settlement, but nobody would ever call it a coupon settlement. and judges would just be ok with that. or at least until the senate for class-action fairness came in. and in all six of these cases and even without going in and pointing out 1712 and saying, you have to treat this as a coupon case, only half of the court actually did anything. and in one case it was because we took it up on appeal. it was the very first appellate decision, reported appellate decision actually addressing how you treat coupon settlements. and in that very first case, inkjet, the ninth circuit's -- the ninth circuit said, no you have to follow what the law says. we needsk me whether legislative change. how do you we write the statute so that the judges follow it?
answer is, how do you rewrite the statute so the judges follow it? do you write the law again and say, this time we really mean it? you need not just a legislative response. laws thatt for the the courts are supposed to be , but you need a third prong to the attack. you need a litigation level creating the precedent out there so that the judges have it in their mind that the law needs to be followed. and you needed in this particular case, because the plaintiffs and defendants don't have the incentive to do it. you need someone out there looking out for the consumers and saying, congress just favors these coupon settlements and you need to treat them the right way. case, we haverd that pending on appeal and we are arguing that on the ninth circuit february 14.
you can listen to that online now if they have changed the rules to let you to do that. -- to let you do that. that onestepped on squishy part of the blanket, but other lumps have been popping up. there are other ways to create relief without it actually being relief. what we have seen is something called açai pray. instead of giving money to the class, you give it to the charity. originally, it came up in the trust contracts. the classic example is, someone in the 19th century leaves their fortune to the abolition cause. i want to abolish slavery. behold, slavery thankfully is abolished. and you have all of this money in this trust that is supposed to be used to abolish slavery. what do you do with it? the answer is this doctrine.
you give it to the next best use , and instead of because of abolition, a judge reforms the trust of that it is not invalid, and so it is now giving money to -- in this particular case, african-american college education. this got moved to the class-action context because you would have cases and $2 million would be distributed, or some checks would be returned and never cashed and you have $80,000 left over. what do you do with it? we don't want the money to go back to the defendant. the judges said, let's give it and then this process got changed so that instead of it just being left over money, parties would announce upfront it would be given to the third parties.
that created obvious inevitable conflicts of interest. first of all, one way that it is, judge,ructured here is a lump sum of money. you distribute it. wait a second, if i go to a judge and say, if you grant my motion to dismiss, i will give $1 million to the charity of your choice, they will lock me up in jail. but if you do it in a class-action settlement, they will say, your honor, we will have this fund and you tell us where to put it. that is considered appropriate somehow. we've seen some very odd cases. in the google buzz case, the judge ignores the suggestions of the party and says, there is a local university here and i think they should get $250,000 of this big fund. he didn't mention, this is where i teach. just really extraordinary. you saw another case involving a
class-action over a hotel fire an animale gave it to rights charity. you have that sort of weird conflict of interest. if the defendant is picking where it goes, you might have, again, the illusion of relief. in the facebook case that we took to the supreme court, -- and i will talk about that in a minute -- facebook created its own charity. the money was going to go to the facebook privacy charity to teach parents how to keep their kids safe from privacy problems on the internet. in other words, promoting facebook's interests. and for this, the attorneys got $2 million. or you have the conflict of interest with the plaintiff. in the apple incorporated securities litigation, we had cy pres where it was going to go to a charity where the plaintiffs attorney sat on the board. or the alma mater of the
plaintiff's attorney is another case. or you could have a settlement structured so that the attorney is doing things to make sure that it does not actually go to the class members, but instead to the charities and the attorney prefers that, because the charity is going to be much more grateful than the class member who's getting a five dollar check. bias to local charities. in the bank of america securities case that is pending in the eighth circuit right now, the attorneys had $3 million big, giantn a securities settlement fund, in part because the judge ordered the parties to withhold $2.5 million in payment for some time. and they said, instead of distribute in this $2 million to there are meaning class murmurs, we are going to give it to this chair teaneck store. -- to the class members, we are going to give it to this charity next door. and there is a photo of the lead plaintiff attorney holding a big
check, giving it to the local charity. look what a nice guy he is giving away other people's money. we argue that this is illegal. we will see of the eighth circuit agrees. if not, the supreme court has expressed some interest. we had not argued it below, but we took over for the other attorneys we saw that the ninth circuit had upheld a zero dollar settlement where all the money went to charity. we took it to the supreme court and the supreme court did not answer. they are a court of discretionary jurisdiction. but interestingly, chief justice roberts wrote separately -- and this is very unusual. and he said, i agree that we should not grant certiorari here. it is a very specific case. but there were a lot of problems, including everything we list here. and this is something that the
supreme court should really look at in the future. we will be preserving the arguments that justice roberts implied. i think the word is out. we are seeing settlements being structured now so that there is because they pres are anticipating three years of appeals to the supreme court if they do not do that. another way to create the illusion of relief is injunctive relief. we are forcing the defendant to do something and this is viable to the class. what is injunctive relief? it could be as simple as saying i will write 100 times on a chalkboard, i will not defraud the class. kinds of all injunctive relief that might not necessarily be benefit -- of benefit to the class. --had one case unfortunately, we were not able to pursue it, but the injunctive
relief was to yahoo!. yahoo!, you will now offer a new product to consumers. are charging for this product. it is a business model and it is something they want to do anyway , because google is eating their lunch. reliefthis injunctive that is benefiting the class, especially when it is being offered to both members and nonmembers? thesee ways that injunctive relief settlements go through is you have these economists, quek expert -- quack expert testimony from loading the idea that it is very valuable to the class. in re motor fuel litigation, injury, the case is that you, the consumer, have been defrauded by ever single gasoline retailer in america, because they did not tell you
what you learned in seventh grade physics, which is gasoline is a liquid, and liquid expands with temperature. and therefore, when it is 90 degrees out, there are fewer moderate goals -- molecules in a gallon of gasoline than when it is 30 degrees or 60 degrees. and they are defrauding you toause they are selling it you by volume and they are not telling you of the changes in the molecules and your gas mileage might go down by half a percent. these cases are being settled by everybody agreeing to install very expensive temperature adjustment mechanisms on the gasoline pumps. why does this benefit consumers? when it is colder out, you will get smaller gallon. if someoneot clear had done this without this lawsuit they might be charged with fraud.
that might not be accurate. don't quote me on the metrics there. they will tell you larger gallons on average. a class-action that redefined dozen eggs to be a teaneck. do you get free eggs every time you go to the grocery store? economist said, now, everybody is going to beginning larger gallons on average and that is worth $100 million. and the judge bought it. -- whether that goes forward at some point. about case i talk to you earlier about the headset, the injunctive relief was opposed to benefit the class. all of the bluetooth headset manufacturers would add a statement on the website warning of the dangers of listening to the bluetooth on too high a volume. we all know the first thing you do when you get a bluetooth headset.
you read your help -- your owners manual very carefully cover to cover. you go to the website and make sure there are not any warnings about hearing damage. to us,never occurred that loud noises can cause hearing problems. we would never have known that without the warning. and because of that, their experts have said it is worth 800 million dollars to the class because who knows how many people will not go deaf because of this now? fortunately, the judge did not agree with that. another way to create the illusion of relief is the claims made settlement. we are creating this big settlement fund. we are going out and offering everybody in the class to go out , or goe a claim for $50 out and make a claim on this $35 million fund. the problem is, class members don't make claims.
if you don't actually mail them a check, they are not going to -- because you get the notice in the mail. you don't read the notice. you don't go out and make the playing -- the claim. if you create the illusion of the claims process, and in one of these cases you had to fill out a five-page form that said you needed to know the day and date that you bought your stroller, or your car seat. and nobody filled out this form. as a result, there were only -- there was only $3 million of money that was actually going to the class, and the attorneys were perfectly happy with that. because the other $15 million of the settlement would get -- would go to a charity and they were getting a $14 million fee for themselves. the attorneys were getting 14 nine dollars and the class is probably not going to get very much to get they are not making claims. and the judge would not even figure out how much would
actually be distributed to the class. we had to take it to the third circuit and the third circuit asked the attorneys and at that point, they had to admit that the class was getting very little. ,n briefing after briefing throughout this process they would say, we cannot make them take this money. it is unfair and the world will end if you do this because we will never actually be able to bring a class action. actually tiere you the amount the attorneys are getting to what the class is getting. and lo and behold, the left her money is now no longer going to charity -- the leftover money is now longer going to charity, but the class members. i don't think the judge is going to award us $6 million. we are not even going to ask for
that. we will ask for substantially less than that. it will be interesting to see whether actually winning money for the class is worth as much to this judge as pretending to win money for the class. the judge did award $14 million the first time around. the citigroup case was a fascinating case. settlements,f the the class actually got something. they negotiated a $600 million settlement fund. are entitledok, we to $100 million of that. and the reason is because we spent a lot of time on this case. we spent $50 million of time on this case. so when we asked $100 million, it is take -- it is paying us for the risk of taking on the case, and compensating us for that risk. forit is competent enough the 50 lane dollars worth of time that -- $50 million worth of time that we put in.
it turns out what was happening was they had contract attorneys that they were hiring for $28 an hour. the only thing these attorneys were doing was looking at computer screens of documents and clicking on buttons. this one mentions bond issue number one. one mentions security issue number three. this one has an attorney's name on it. this one has this witness his name on it. it is something that could be done basically by a computer these days. when paying clients do this, they ask for either the $28 an hour people to look at it, or they ask for a computer system to do it. few hours of attorneys to actually double check it. but they were coming in and saying, we want 550 dollars an
hour for each of these $28 an hour attorneys. they were attorneys with the law firm, even though they were never hired by the law firm. and we are asking for $550 an anr, multiplied up to $1100 hour. because there is a risk. that down to $200 an hour, which is still outrageous. especially since it is supposed to be the market rate and it was very clearly establish that the market rate of what paying clients pay for this, they pay cost. no law firm in the world gets away with marking it up. other thing we discovered was when the judges made them turn over their timesheets, it was settled on may 12 and on may 13, they hired two dozen new contract attorneys to work 60
hours a week reviewing documents. meanwhile, all of the real attorneys on the case have stopped work. it was not we have to keep working on this case in case the settlement falls through, and then it never falls through. structure the bill that we can claim to justify the fee that we are asking for, the multiplier. the judge ended up knocking up -- knocking off $26 million worth of fees. we thought it should be more. we are looking at future cases to make a point. 80% of securities cases settle once they get past the motion to dismiss. anything after that, you know you will be settling your case and you should not be getting a two-time multiplier or a three-time multiplier, or in some cases a four-time multiplier.
we are doing a lot of good out there. one way you can help us is looking for cases where you are a class member and you are getting these settlement notices. you don't have to throw them away. send them my way and i'm happy to look at them. we are making very good use of the nonprofit donations we are getting. and i think we are doing a lot of good not just in the cases where we bring actions, but it is having affect in cases where there are other attorneys. inear from defense counsel settling cases, you cannot do that, the class action settlement center will come after you. lot only changed a one hour case in 2013. the settlements we are seeing are a lot better than what we -- than what we were seeing in 2009. there's still a lot of abuse going on. and there are more cases out there than we have attorneys to take them on. we hope to take on more. inc. you. [applause]
you.ank [applause] >> thank you, ted. we will talk amongst ourselves for a little bit before we open it up to the audience. to discuss this, we have two experts that come at this from rather different perspectives. for lester burton -- professor brickman, where he has served as the acting dean, and has been a legal writer in the field of ethics, and particularly legal abuse, tort abuse, class-action abuse, fee structure abuse, and in 2011 after writing multiple argument aticles on this topic, manhattan institute supported book was published. we are happy to have professor brickman. and to my immediate right, we norton, norman -- bob
the vice president of the bradley foundation. before he got to the nonprofit world, where bob and i knew each other for years, he was the assistant general counsel for chrysler daimlerchrysler is in, including the head of their class-action practice for seven years. he has seen many of these cases from the perspective of a corporate defense counsel and can shed light on the issue from that perspective. start, i would like to with you before we turn to bob. you have done a lot of work on this. you come at it from an ethics standpoint. what is the fundamental ethical claim here? >> i would say there are two main issues. one is the inherent conflict of interest between the interests of the class members and the interest of the attorney that scoops them up into a class.
it is interesting when you think about how a class is formed. if theoretically, the 50,000 people that would constitute this class were polled and asked , how many of you would like to join in litigation for whatever ?urpose stated and if the overwhelming majority said, no, we don't want to do that, that makes not one bit of difference. the old -- the attorney only has to find a single member of that class, and then he just vacuums up all the class members. the only remedy is to seek to opt out, which is probably relatively rarely done. simply because, people don't really go in and read these notices that they get in the mail, as ted pointed out. interestict of
manifests itself in the fee issue, how fees are set. extends into the area, the breach of fiduciary obligation. i would say generally, most ethical rules regarding fees and fiduciary obligation are largely suspended in the area of class actions. the judges have accommodated the interests of lawyers to such a that the rules of ethics, whether in the formal code of professional responsibility or the current rules of professional conduct, are largely inapplicable, or at least not applied to class action litigation. the lawyers who have anointed
themselves as the class lawyers. of fiduciaryh obligation for a lawyer to act in his own self-interest at the expense of his client. under the concept of fiduciary obligation, a lawyer has to put his client's interest above his own financial interests. well, not so in class actions. actions, the lawyer overtly put his own self-interest above that of the members of the class. and it is sustained by courts. i will give you a few examples. settlement,s-action willawyer for the class obtain an agreement from the defense lawyer called the clear sailing agreement. what this is, is an agreement by the defense not to contest the
lawyers -- the fee that the lawyer is seeking. this is an important factor in favor of the interest of the class lawyer. certainty that in exchange for getting that clear sailing agreement, the defendant got something. and the something comes not from the lawyer, but from the class that the lawyer is supposed to represent. there are numerous, maybe dozens and dozens of examples where in negotiating the fee, the lawyer favors his own self-interest at the expense of the class. let me give you just one more example. there are certain class actions, which are based on a statutory violation rather than a breach of contract or tort matter. in these statutory -- that is,
based upon violation of a statute. in these statutory class by supremee fee court decision is limited to what is called the lodestar, which is the number of hours reasonably expended times the fee that the judge has okayed as the fee to be paid on an hourly the 10, 15, 20, 50, 100 lawyers. you can easily have that many in this -- these types of class actions that have a hand in the pot. "lodestar" the rather than their percentage fee, which is often two to five times the amount of the lodestar , the lawyers will settle a statutory class-action claim
with the defendant so as not to come under the edict of that supreme court decision limiting the fee to the lodestar. they will settle the case before it gets to the point of a and then negotiate with the defendant the fee that the lawyer will be paid separately through the settlement, separate from the amount to be paid to the class. in that way, they completely the supreme court rule that says in a statutory only-action that you can get a lodestar. this will give them double, triple, quadruple the lodestar. or even more multiples than that. the bottom line is, and nobody will be shocked -- this is not the line out of casablanca. lawyers seek their own self-interest.
and the courts have tolerated it. you see all kinds of judicial talk about what is a clear sailing agreement. you have to look more closely because maybe things are not quite right about that. sometimes they talk the talk, but they almost never walked the walk. pay will say you have to particular attention when judges say certain kinds of things, but the reality is that when push comes to shove, they favor the interest of the lawyer. lawyers, when they seek fees, generally get approval for about 90% of the fees they are seeking. it is quite a telling statistic. hope wely, the best have for changing this situation , i think, is the work that ted is doing. he has obtained some really fantastic decisions, but more importantly because we are
anticipating even more in the future, he has gotten judges to actually pay attention to at least one object or -- objector. whereas in the past, the judges have disposed of these objections willy-nilly and without any thought. now, at least at the federal really paying attention. i think that is one of the great achievements he has brought to this area. [applause] >> thanks. some of the examples he was these side deals, does it intersect with some of the challenges you have been ringing echo -- bringing? >> that is right. he has laid the groundwork of what we're doing and in many cases a roadmap. we were not aware of the issue until he wrote about it.
using that, we started looking for it and we sure enough found and he is accused of being cynical and what we found was far worse than anything he was ever accused of doing. the agreement is something we raise all the time. opinionsotten good from the ninth circuit, the sixth circuit, criticizing the agreements. because of what lester describes. many different class actions involved in settlements. ted laid out the economics. why do you think the corporate community is so willing to settle class action suits, even
when they are meritless? >> corporate counsel come in different flavors. know each other because chrysler took a very hard-line. i was fortunate to have management and they got up to speed on this issue and decided to put their foot down and they were not going to be dragged along in this. there are a lot of reasons why corporations are lead down the path, not collegial -- not the least of which is the share price. there is an amount of commotion know because because of share price. this is very sophisticated. you're looking at the many firms out there and each one of them will try to take their own bite at the apple and will ask for discovery. ausing on discovery alone for minute, if you are a company like apple and chrysler and general motors, they are big companies that are able to get broad and far-reaching discovery that cost -- and the cost alone is very expensive.
they are about to plead their case in a broad manner and say there is something wrong with the device and we would like to know more. the alternative designs they were looking at. what they knew or should have known. we want all the notes from all the meetings, all the schedules and everything. proprietary. is we have a company staring down the barrel of losing a lawsuit -- even if you think that -- even if you think you have a 90% chance of winning, they have a 75% chance of winning in any case because you never know what will happen. the o.j. simpson trial and otherwise. you do not know what a jury will do at the end of the day and how the plaintiffs will be allowed by the judge to put in her case and what they will be told. i have had class-action lawsuits, 58 of them at the time i left chrysler five years ago. some would allege our engines were durable enough.
well, you know, everybody in the industry is being faced with these lawsuits. they say, let us see all the engine design plans you have going back the last 10 years, all the options you considered. testing results and what other factors you thought about putting in or not putting in and then we will decide whether or not we have something to tell the jury about, whether you did everything possible to make sure the engine is as robust and durable as it could be. without -- without going further, you go, i am sure they will find something. in one of our engineers notebooks come it says we could've done something else. we could have done something else other than what we did. they will find something they will be able to then say was a step that was not proper. you're looking at this as, now we might have the chance -- 75% chance of winning. we have the expense of millions worth of dollars worth of discovery. the news press is out there covering this. firm, you get law
to know, good friends in the press, and they will start this drumbeat and they will make it harder and harder for you not to say, "this is stupid." i have had contentious cases. they said, wait until you see what will happen, i will tell you we have talked to these consumer advocate groups and this is what you will see next month and tell your friends. threat ofry implicit blacks -- blackmail. when we come after them, they should find a way to resist. in the case of my management, they were savvy about this game and were not going to be bullied. i oversaw this. steve gets credit. he is not here. we wrote an article in the journal of ethics saying we would not take settlements. we did that in part to make a chess move publicly that says, do not come to us with the settlements because we are not interested and we will not go there.
we settled cases in novel ways, including a consumer public service announcement about not putting children in the front seat of cars because we believe that is a good thing. you should not put them there. in the case of the plaintiff lawyers at the end of the day, is what an hour -- that they got for all they had done. we did not agree to a $550 times two three. -- two fee. even thinking 30% or so is what their thick -- their fees might be, and it turned out that way. you're willing to pay some degree to get the pain to stop. you're willing at times, if you have your management properly counseled, if they're willing to hang in there, and make them prove their -- prove their case, you will contest there is a harm, and appeal it, they tell their friends that these people are not easy to sue and they
will not play ball with you and you might want to try suing someone else. at least you are saying, do not come here, we will make it tough on you. >> for big companies, and it is big companies that will get this type of litigation the most because they have deep pockets, you face this repeatedly, the hard line. if you see 58 cases over the span of seven years, it could benefit you. there are still complications with that. let me play devil's advocate a minute. anyone up here can talk about this. there have been a number of in the academy and in the this, that would challenge general position and challenge ted's work. basically, we reached the position it does not matter whether there is compensation or not. who cares if the plaintiff gets compensation and gets no compensation and he goes to all
the attorneys. the attorneys are doing a public service by deterring fraud, deterring misconduct on the parts of these corporations. how do you respond? >> it assumes the case is being settled are good cases. we see from bluetooth and motor lot of thesefrom a cases that the underlying cause of action is completely bogus. what is happening is the sort of -- extortion bob is talking about. a nice company you have here. it would be a shame if you had to spend millions of dollars on attorneys fees. you can either pay us now or pay your attorney $3 million to get rid of the case. you probably want to pay us the million dollars. you say yes,r, this saves us $2 million. will go on myives competition, who now face the same sort of class-action.
so, what is being deterred when you are suing bluetooth headset manufacturers? i do not see that. if the law professor you're talking about is saying, you have a zero dollar settlement and you are encouraging people to bring these costs actions and now you will not encourage them to bring class actions, i would say that is a feature in not a bug. any thoughts? >> yes. as an academic, in a very distinct minority, legal education, i have taken note in my book about the reliance of beliefgal scholars on a in the deterrence value of class actions. that, fromegard their perspective, as a matter of faith, that is a conviction
that, if corporations pay billions of dollars to settle class actions, that must be good . to seeu look behind that whether there is any him." basis for that, you find out, largely, that there is none. moreover, you begin, as i have done, in my research, to see a close financial relationship between the legal academy and plaintiffs counsel. million -- tens of billions of dollars a year move from plaintiffs counsel to members of the legal academy for, among other things, what i the council who are hired by the class counsel
at the time of the settlement to write an opinion to the judge, saying, we think this fee is fair. indeed, understated. opinions, they get paid 50 or $100,000. the greater their institution they are affiliated with, the more prominent, the the higher the fee. i do not think class actions of generating deterrence. i think it is very rare. i think the majority of class actions have no deterrent value. they are simply ways of transferring money from lawyers, from corporations to lawyers. >> how about that? you worked at a company and you don't with these. do you think there are deterrence that come with these? >> i do not want to say there
has never been a case. i was thinking now the case going on with target with all the fraud. less take that as an example. opent left themselves wide , many believe. it happened. it is a criminal enterprise. but i also see what target is doing. they are already offering some of the remedies that have come out of previous class-action litigation. they are offering people credit tracking for your children and sent out a nice letter and have given full disclosure. there are congressional hearings on this. congaree -- congress has a good idea and a way to get their attention and make sure everybody in the retail sector is paying attention to this. it will cost a lot of time and money. are the plaintiffs going to do to help consumers other than to have make sure they have done all they can do, make sure it is a public issue.
they have gotten public scorn and now have congress help them solve problems. no one wants congress try to help you solve problems. whether fda cases, or in our case, the national highway traffic and safety association, yorty have a regulatory body out there and you have the fact most of your big companies want to do the right thing and have quality and warranty and other things built in. i have a reputation to protect. the degree of deterrence are getting here is minimal. then you say, why did the companies go on at all? there is a lot more we could say, including the career of the lawyers inside the company. he says, fight this and you will win, his friends from law school and otherwise say, hope you win that, otherwise somebody's head will be on the block for deciding on these big fights. give,ind of advice will i the management is thinking, how much of this publicity do we
want? in one case, cnn started mentioning it regularly. it, make it rid of go away. it will cost us more on advertising on that particular issue than it is worth. are they right or wrong? are they saying it will cost hundreds of millions of dollars -- kill the case, do whatever you have to do to make that go away. a lot of different ethical intentions are going on here. talk --ur more legal more legal costs in the next two years, people argue about whether or not you should just take the million dollar deal, pick it up and go. you have to look at whether or not your problem really had a prop -- your product really had a problem. few things are not really regulated by the government one way or the other. you already have these deterrent factors. the reputational damage to the company is one of the issues you are trying to avoid.
>> that makes a lot of sense to me. we have a lot more questions but i want our audience to have the option of asking questions. i will call on you. please identify yourself. wait for the mike. any questions from the audience? >> harry lewis. i'm a litigator here in new york city. i do not generally do class-action litigation, but have had situations where my client comes to me with class-action notices in settlements and i suggested the panel that the situation is more perverse than the panel suggested in this respect. even if theence, underlying class-action litigation is a good case, meaning the corporation has done something seriously wrong, plaintiffs counsel will still cut a deal with defense counsel for a lowball settlement that gets them their fees. that essentially cuts out the
class, even in the case of a valid and good lawsuit. that has happened in my experience with my clients. i had a situation, i represented a physicians group, a group of physicians. there was a class action alleging certain insurers had underpaid litigious groups to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars per dr. over years. the proposed settlement was going to get the doctors $10 ahead. it was a horrible settlement for my clients. i advised them to opt out. that was the advice i thought was appropriate under the circumstances. if you're talking about a good and the incentives remain perverse, in that case, the defense cattle -- counsel were ecstatic to get rid of it. a hugere getting rid of
problem for them by cutting those lawyers. those scenarios occur and are perverse in this context. >> i have seen a sentiment like that. we had one pending in front of the ninth circuit where the attorneys got $9 million and the attorneys were certainly thrilled with that. about 220 $5,000 in cash was paid for the class. billion would go to the attorneys, two local colleges all affiliated with the defense attorneys. and, what this company has done is pretty clearly fraudulent, the type of thing where you did not realize you are being subscribed. please click on this button and now your credit card has been billed $20 a month. settlement.thless the attorneys got paid over $1000 an hour.
everybody was happy except for the class members, who did not know their attorneys sold them out. very fortunately, we found an object or who wanted to do the right thing. see if the judge approved the settlement anyway and we will see what the judge wants to do with it. opting out will not do anything. case -- unless you can tens of mobilize thousands of doctors to opt out, all opting out does is that these doctors will not get their $10 and they still will not be able to bring the lawsuit against the insurance company because the reason of the class action in the first place was because it would be unfeasible. the only time an opt out really in a a difference is
securities litigation where you have a lot of small individual shareholders who cannot feasibly opt out, but maybe a large andion fund can opt out what i hear anecdotally, and no one ever studies this because all settlements are content -- confidential, even in these big settlements, where it looks like the defendant is giving up hundreds of millions of dollars when a large institutional shareholder ops out of the up being able to negotiate a better deal for themselves separately. that shareholders -- the good shareholder cases are not doing much better for shareholders than the bad cases. we had a case and we said, wait a second, the shareholders are settling for three cents on the
dollar. this is clearly a recent settlement. -- are attorneys getting they are asking for four times their hourly rate. for settling for literally pennies on the dollar. how is it you are giving any incentive to attorneys to bring a good case? what are you going to do when somebody actually wins a case? you cannot get them more than what these attorneys are getting. when a case like that happens, one of two things happen. in one case, they should not be paid. or, they are selling out the clients who have a legitimate claim, and they again should not be paid, but punished. and they get rewarded by the status quo.
the judge was kind enough to slightly slice the fees, but was a lot meaner to me than to the attorneys. >> that raises a question i had. if somebody else has a question from the audience, raise your hand. how do we fix this, apart from what you're doing? unless this is one of the best ways to fix it, but, of course, the problem is you have got to keep doing it. if he retires and there is not someone equally smart and energetic filling your shoes, these things could revert ready quickly back to the way they were. comment suggests maybe discovery reform is one answer, where you could at least take that he's out of the economic equation to encourage
defendants not to settle bad cases, but what are changes in the laws that would actually have an effect here? >> well, it is hard to say. there. was already it just was not being enforced. parties did not have the incentive. perhaps you could create a bounty system whereby you come in and make a successful objection and the plaintiff's attorneys are required to pay that objectors a sum of money and you have people with actually the incentive to do it. i got into this, the very first objection i brought was as a private citizen in 2008 and i noticed a bad settlement over a video game where the attorneys were getting $1 million and the class members were getting $24,000. i went in an object in and object it on my own. sure enough, the judge blows up the settlement. meanwhile kind i am out a couple thousand dollars. i took time off to do writing, and i had to travel in new york
and stay in a hotel. it adds up. brand ofy particular obscenity, that objection would not have happened and the settlement would've been approved. i found people generous enough insanity, but,y it should not have to be that way. attorneyslaintiff's for bringing successful class actions, even when those class actions are not all that successful. aat i have found is even as nonprofit when we bring pretty modest fee requests, judges that are very happy to rubberstamp multimillion dollar fee requests come in and start asking about every little piece of our request. they knocked one down to $10,000. it has gotten to the point where i said, we are not wasting time
on them anymore. it is snapping too much of our resources. we will do it in one big case a year, where we won millions of dollars and it is unambiguous we're entitled to fees. that incentiveg structure, there'll always be a problem. the class action fairness act, section 715, congress thought they were doing something. before they have a class-action settlement, they have to notify all states attorneys generals that a class action settlement -- give them a chance to reject. that has done absolutely nothing. you see the state attorneys general coming in, maybe one or two cases a year. themthen, judges ignore and the state attorneys general has no standing to appeal. there is no incentive for the
state attorneys general to get involved. who will watch the watchmen watching the watchmen? i do not see how that does not have regulatory capture. time in the bush administration, the fcc thought about getting involved. there was a young staffer by the name of ted cruz. i do not know whatever happened to him. [laughter] he came up with the idea they should get involved in those things. , your taxpayer dollars are still paying for it. staffers are apparently devoted to it but have done nothing since the most recent president got elected. class i have a question. if you want to feel that. christ keep it short in the form of a question. christ this is a policy question
. you mentioned bounty in your remarks. this we better if they had false involving bounties. might that work as a policy echo >> yes. the principle is there in terms of the common benefit and so on. it just needs to be a real substantial bounty. that.not see right now, the incentive, there is no incentive for people to come in and do this. i have had people approach me. people are starting to think about it because they realize how much abuses going on in these security cases and what you need, you need the institutional investors to come in and say, you are stealing money from us with these fee
requests. probably hundreds of millions are being siphoned out of the economy. in pure rent seeking. our elected officials who are managing pensions doing more about it? may be political pressure on that and. -- end. the status quo right now, the only thing happening in the public citizen, comes in and brings a handful of objections a year but nowhere near the scale we do and there is typically more on the settlement is too low and the defendant should be forced to maim -- to pay more, rather than the abuse of allocation that we are putting out. >> the idea of statutory relief
is simply out of the question for the foreseeable future. whatever changes that are feel tofeasible, are restricted the judiciary, which created the problem in the first place. rule withhanging the regards to opt in and opt out in 1966, and expecting only a very small change in the way this would occur thereafter. failing to take into account the enormous incentives lawyers provided by contingency fees. think one way in which we could improve the situation would be to clone ted. we would need more ted's. it is not out of the question. i think there might be others that follow in his footsteps. serious,hen courts get
lawyers making serious arguments, they will pay attention in ways they have not here with regard to objectors. there are specific policy areas i've focused on in my book. one has to do with the so-called american rule. .s opposed to the english rule the american rule, each side is responsible for their own attorney fees. under the english rule, the losing party pays some part of the prevailing party's attorney fees. we have statutory fee shifting theur country, in which prevailing party is able to collect attorney fees. under various statutes involving civil rights, environmental issues, and a variety of issues and other things. but when the supreme court of the united states adopted american rule back in the early 20th century, 19th century,
sometime -- i'm trying to member . 1820's or something like that. that has had a remarkable effect. seeking class action status and so on, and trying to the asymmetrical costs that benefit them, that they could costs and force them to deal with literally , thatns of documents could generate settlements just in terms of cost avoidance for the corporation. but there is no incentive for the corporation to really duke it out. lawyer, the class lawyer, may lose the case